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tv   MSNBC News Live  MSNBC  December 11, 2009 4:00pm-5:00pm EST

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provide security took part in missions to capture and kill militants. congress is outraged and an investigation is coming. after the new orleans saints marched in for another nfl victory, a fair-weather fan sacrificed his tv to a firing squad. all that, and more, this hour on msnbc. good afternoon, everyone. i'm lynn barry, in for tamron hall live in new york. >> i'm david shuster live in washington. this hour, new signs that the economy is strengthening, and that pushed wall street higher today. the closing bell rang just moments ago. the dow finished up 67 points. the s&p up 4. the nasdaq down just slightly. stocks rose after the commerce department reported this morning that retail sales rose 1.3% in november, nearly twice as much as had been expected. and a figure that reflects the growing confidence of consumers.
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meanwhile, president obama's praising the u.s. house of representatives after it just passed the most sweeping overhaul of wall street regulations since the depression era. the vote was 223 to 202. no republicans voted for the bill. the measure is aimed at preventing the kind of activity by banks and other financial institutions that triggered last year's financial crisis. the legislation would give the government new powers to break up companies deemed too big to fail. in a written statement, president obama urged the senate to act on the measure as quickly as possible. also today, kenneth feinberg imposed a $500,000 salary limit on mid-level executives at ford companies that received some of the largest taxpayer bailouts. those companies include aig, citigroup, general motors and gmac, the financing arm of gm. the salary caps affect this year's pay for a total of about 450 executives at those companies.
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feinberg talked one on one with cnbc's mary thompson. >> if you ask those four companies, did this round of negotiations with the treasury department work well for the company, i think they would say that it did, and i think it worked as well for the american people. >> joining us now chief washington correspondent john harwood. john, a lot to talk about from a political perspective. feinberg, good news for the obama white house when feinberg comesous and say, here are more actions we're taking? >> every time the obama administration can come out and say we're doing something to rein in wall street, that's good for president obama. so many are angry about wall street. >> the politics on capitol hill, it was just over a year ago when it was wall street greed and the risky behavior, the financial firms, that in part kept fueling this financial crisis. and yet just a year later, the republicans, not a single one, wants to join the democrats in
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trying to curb back some of that behavior. it would seem like there's a political vulnerability to republicans. >> i thought that was a remarkable vote, david. some of the house democratic aides that i talked to yesterday thought that some of those moderate republicans were going to get all wee weed up about being on the side of wall street, rather than on the side of main street, which is the way the democrats framed the argument. but they held together. i think the calculation on the republican side is, democrats and the obama white house own this economy now, own 10% unemployment, and they can own the regulation on wall street, too, because if you put the entire economy and say, that's on the democratic party, even though we're coming out of eight years of a bush administration, that's going to be advantageous to them politically in 2010. >> the democrats solely own the good news, like the report today about retail sales being much higher? >> if there is good news, democrats are going to own it. their problem is, as long as unemployment is at 10%, there's not enough of that good news. >> john, thanks as always.
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we appreciate you joining us today. now to "the big picture," goldman sachs moves to quiet the uproar over what is expected to be record bonuses this year. the firm says its top 30 executives will receive no cash bonuses for 2009, despite expected record profits. instead, they'll receive stock that cannot be sold for five years. it follows criticism of goldman, which received $10 billion in taxpayer bailout money last year. it's now on track to pay $20 billion in bonuses this year, amounting to almost $800,000 per employee. joining me now is ayman javers for politico. can you break down what this means. they're not going to get a big payout up front. this could be lucrative if the long-term stock does well. is this a band-aid? what's the reaction to this? >> well, look, the reaction by kenneth feinberg today was very positive. the pay czar doesn't have
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authority over goldman sachs, but he did say he thought this was a very, very good move. that's sort of a bresing from the obama administration for this maneuver. you're right, the executives will get stock that's at risk. that means that the stock, if you get $1 million worth of stock now, say hypothetically, that could actually increase in value over five years. goldman certainly hopes it will, that their stock price will be higher five years from now than it is today. if goldman really stumbles financially and the company really suffers, that could be worth a lot less. what it does is ties the executives to the future performance of the company. that's something reformers have wanted to see, because they feel like with big cash payments, executives have every incentive to do things in the short term, that don't necessarily benefit the long term help of the company and benefit the shareholders. >> especially here in new york, we've seen a lot of these big bonuses end up -- the money gets pushed back into the economy. right now, we need that -- we couldn't need that any more. >> right. >> will this have any effect on the economy, that this money
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isn't going to be spent? >> jewelry stores in manhattan, they suffer. but the rest of the country will probably view that as a positive. as with everything in life, where you stand depends on where you silt. but what goldman is doing here, i think a lot of folks in washington view this as a smart move to mitigate some of the criticism they've been getting for their role in the global financial meltdown, and one of the most successful financial entities remaining standing. i think the folks in washington expect we might see some of these other banks, all the ceos are going into the white house on monday to meet with president obama, we're expecting some other similar announcements from some of these other folks before they walk into the oval office next week to have that meeting. >> eaman, from your point, do you think the goldman team finally realizes how much they've been hurt by their tin ear politically over the past six to eight months? >> i think if you talk to goldman sachs folks about this, they'll tell you they're
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extremely frustrated about it. they feel like a lot of this is undeserved. there are a lot of conspiracy theories about goldman floating around. they don't like that. they resent it. in fact, they argue, look, we paid back the t.a.r.p. before anybody did, and we paid it back with interest, and we paid the treasury the price that it wanted. you know, we feel like we're doing everything right in all this. but still, they're attracting an enormous amount of criticism and we hear from others in the financial industry that they're worried goldman sachs' pr blunders will actually hurt other investment banks, other large financial institutions in washington, as we see things like today's house vote on the regulatory reform issue and other things going on in the world. for example, britain and france just passed a huge tax increase for financial bonuses. they said if you're going to make all that money, we're going to take half. that sort of thing is unlikely here. but if the pr dynamic continues the way it has been, you never know. that's the kind of idea that could really take off when people are very angry at
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bankers. >> politico's eaman javeers. top white house economic adviser christina romer will be among gregory's guests. we're following the breaking weather news where blinding snow and arctic temperatures are making traveling treacherous in the northeast. conditions are so bad between dun kirk and the pennsylvania border, that the thruway has been shut down this hour. for several hours earlier this morning, dozens of motorists were trapped inside the snow-bound cars along the very same stretch of highway. troopers had to use all-terrain vehicles to keep in touch with people. and a lot of folks were finally freed. some of them after spending 12 hours in their cars. find out how the conditions are right now. we're joined by paul goodloe
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from the weather channel in dun kirk, new york. paul, what's been the change in the last hour? >> reporter: well, really no change. we're seeing squalls of wind and saw some snow coming on through. i almost feel like i'm at a crime scene here. this is actually lake erie off here to the left of your screen, to my right. and this is a source region of all this snow that's still blowing on through here. we're also seeing that wind, which at times here at the lake shore, gusting over 60. taking that snow and blowing it sideways for hundreds of yards. and this is the type of situation that's still going on just south of us here on interstate 90, or the new york thruway south of dun kirk. that has caused all those folks to basically have no clear way to travel. as i walk closer to you, i have a little bit of a wind break up here. even now the wind might be more of the gusting 10 to 20. but out there in the elements, like they are a little further down the interstate, you have
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the wind doing the same thing, taking that snow and blowing it sideways, drifting it over the interstate. travel is almost impossible in some stretches of roads out here in western new york. this morning, we were just north of here by about 10, 15 miles -- actually, more like 8 miles in silver creek, and the drive down here this afternoon at times was kind of white knuckle and shaking on the steering wheel, because you could not see more than 10 to 20 feet in front of you at times. as you still had the wind blowing snow. so the good news about this is, well, the snow should be slowing, tapering off as we head towards the weekend. the bad news is, the winds will take a little bit longer, so the snow on the ground will continue to cause visibility issues. and that's why for the second straight day in this region, schools were closed. not so much because of the snow, hey, it's western new york, we can deal with snow, but it's that wind reducing visibility making travel very dangerous in this part of the world. david? >> the weather channel's paul
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goodloe. paul, terrific reporting all week long. thanks for being out there today. we appreciate it. >> reporter: sure thing. breaking news right now. exclusive new details on that drone attack in northern pakistan, where u.s. officials say that a top al qaeda leader was killed. nbc's bob windram joins us with more information. bob, what do you have? >> a gentleman by the name of sully al somali, the director of external operations was killed tuesday by two hellfire missiles filed from a predator drone. a cia drone that had been tracking al samali for at least a couple of days. this man is director of external operations for al qaeda. that means, in the words of a senior counterterrorism official, he is "probably in charge" of planning an execution of attacks against the united states and europe. he's about 40 years old.
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or was about 40 years old. and has been a longtime member of the top ranks of al qaeda. one of the things to note, david, is this comes right after the u.s. has said that it would increase the tempo of predator attacks in pakistan against al qaeda, and the u.s. is essentially trumpeting this as a good example of what's to happen both right now and for the foreseeable future. >> bob, i wonder if you could look at a monitor. we were just rolling video of somebody that purported to be al somali. that it was saying he was 40 years old doesn't seem to match with the video we were running. in any case, put this in broader context, how close might this figure have been, say, to osama bin laden? >> osama bin laden has been for a long time probably five years at least outside the mainstream
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of al qaeda. in fact, ayman sa which hi ri have not traveled together since 2003. whereas he may not be close to bin laden, he is somebody within the high command. from what my understanding has been is, that anytime an attack is being proposed, that the actual plan of attack must be approved by both bin laden -- or excuse me, by either bin laden or zawahiri. but that is as far as their role goes. it is not something where they are intimately involved in the planning. they essentially are given the right to say yes or no to a plan, if it involves the u.s. or the uk. beyond that, i mean, these people at this level have a great deal more independence, more latitude in choosing targets, and carrying them out.
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>> nbc's bob windram. by the way, the video we were showing, that is not the person that was killed. that was zawahiri. the other person is someone else the u.s. would like to get. the video we were showing you was the wrong person. but again, another figure, of course, al somali, a figure officials have been trying to get for some time. was blackwater a secret arm of the cia? new revelations from the bush era war on terror. plus, we'll have everything about the sarah palin chronicles, what she's now saying about al gore 2010, and president obama. and a woman who started planning for christmas in july. you're watching "the big picture" on n the label, n the label, you might be missing something. with prego, it's all about the sauce. in a blind taste test,
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i believe that man's activities certainly can be contributing to the issue of global warming, climate change. >> welcome back to "the big picture." that was former alaska governor sarah palin during last year's campaign, claiming that some climate change is man-made. >> but david, on thursday in response to al gore calling palin a climate change denier, she told mora ingram that she might consider debating gore on the issue but said something very different about it being man-made.
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>> well, palin also told "usa today" about her plans for the upcoming 2010 election cycle. >> joining us now for a little analysis, a columnist and associate editor for the hill. amy, does this tell us more about what palin's thinking about 2012 than 2010? she's digging her heels into
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this issue, isn't she? >> she wants to stay in the spotlight and speaking out on as many things as she can. in terms of her assisting candidates for 2010, the next couple months are going to be very illustrative. we'll see the kinds of invitations she gets and the kinds of invitations she accepts. she's also known for accepting invitations and canceling. so how much she spends on the campaign trail in 2010 will be a real indication of the support she offers the republican party, how much interest the candidates in the republican party have in her help. and i think it will tell us a lot more about 2012. >> a.b., a lot of republicans have acknowledged yes, she has flip-flopped on her position whether man-made activities contribute to climate change. which is clear. they also point out that the danger is maybe it's not so much a flip-flop, because you have to know what your position is, in order to know that you're changing it. there's a perception, at least within republican circles here, she has no idea what she's talking about on these issues.
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>> and i think it doesn't help her when she's asked, will you debate al gore on the issue of climate change? she backed away and said, no, i would get clobbered. it would be rigged by his friends. they're nottisted in the facts. if she was in a debate setting, which she will be if she runs in 2012 and in a primary contest against mitt romney and other republicans for the presidential nomination, she will be in a debate setting, and she'll have to have her facts before her and have the facts consistent and be ready to argue them. to admit it about climate change doesn't -- it doesn't show she's in strong command of the issue at this point. >> there are a number of republicans begging her, look, you have the charisma, you need to take some time to understand these issues, so that if you want to take a position against cap and trade, or want to take a position against health care, at least there's an intellectual basis to it, and you're not just flying off at the handle. do you get any indication she's
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willing to do that? >> you know, we don't right now. right now she wants to give a lot of interviews and she's sort of leadership by facebook. she really likes to get on the internet and throw out some opinions and some very strong statements. and she loves the book tour. and i think when it's over, and she can't write another book, it will be very telling to see how she spends her time, if she is learning the issues and giving speeches, if she is hunkering down and going out on the campaign trail for the midterm elections next november, that will show she's taking 2012 very seriously. i think if she doesn't, i don't know if we can keep talking about her as a 2012 candidate. >> is sarah palin some sort of media caricature, because there's so much about sarah palin that's controversial, that the media loves talking about her because she generates a lot of heat, and maybe to the disgust of many republicans who say, we don't even consider her a serious, legitimate candidate for 2012? >> well, it is true that the media loves sarah palin, and
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sarah palin loves the media. she won't admit it, but she fuels media attention every chance she can. she's very savvy about it, actually. but republicans won't step forward and say, there weren't anything such as death panels going through the congress. republicans don't actually criticize sarah palin in public. they're quite shy because they know how popular she is among the republican base. so it remains that she's sort of a celebrity persona, not really a politician anymore. but she continues because she's so beloved, to fuel this. i'm a future leader, this concept that we're following her around in the media because she's a future politician. she feeds it. and we don't hear from anybody in her party saying, this is -- there's no hope for her as a candidate. this might happen later on, but right now everyone just puts their nose down and remains silent. >> other than a few people from the mccain campaign, it is
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striking how some republicans will say awfully strong things in a negative fashion about her on background, but as soon as they're on the record, they have no problem with sarah palin. it's incredible. a.b. stoddard, thanks as always. good to see you. david, coming up next, why would anyone let his buddies shoot up his 60-inch high def tv. ouch. >> it's just one of the stories that makes us say no way. ( sneeze ) transform drinks you want, into cold medicine you need. introducing fast crystal packs.
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a lot of things could be considered news in this world. >> but there are only a few stories that make us say no way! >> that's right. no way. it's a good year for penguins in texas. take a look at this penguin chick born monday at the moody gardens. he was one of 24 eggs, that's a record. biologists say the penguins are having a great year there. the newborn will be fully grown in just about eight weeks. so cute. >> lynn, holy christmas.
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here's a house that gives a whole new meaning to christmas in july. this is the home of sissy moore. she even decorated the bathrooms and laundry room. she starts decorating in july. >> just makes my reindeer sweater so weak. >> a pink living room and gold dining room. sissy also gives extra care to her sparkling bedroom. she says this is an annual tradition and will do this ever year for as long as she can. >> david, where do you think she keeps those ornaments? >> i bet she has a very large basement. >> i would imagine. if it works once, why not use it again. it appears men's health magazine has been caught wee using the exact same cover headlines on this december issue as it used in october of '07. take a look closely. both of those covers have headlines six-pack abs, dress for more sex, and gain muscle, lose pounds. in the exact same position. just different guys. the magazine's editor argued
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that the magazine had different covers for its subscribers and the newsstands. the beauty of cut-and-paste. the other beauty is nfl football this time of year. the new orleans saints, they are undefeated, but one louisiana man made the costly mistake to bet against the saints, and bet for the redskins. idiot! he bet his buddies that the washington redskins would beat the saints. if not, his buddies could destroy his 60-inch flat screen tv. as you might have expected, mr. wayne, he lost. >> two, three! >> not only do the guys shoot the tv, one man finished the job by ramming his head into the television screen. he put it on youtube and so far it's had more than 355,000 hits. and 355,000 reminders, lynn, never bet for the washington
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redskins. it's too painful. >> exactly. why not bet to get the tv. why shoot it up. come on. >> just ahead, our face-off on the economy. the house today passed the most sweeping financial law since the great depression, without support from a single republican. but first, did the private security firm once known as blackwater operate as a secret wing of the cia? we'll tell you coming up. you're watching the big picture only on msnbc. well, this chevy cobalt xfe has better highway mileage than a comparable honda civic. this chevy traverse has better mileage than honda pilot. the all-new chevy equinox has better mileage than honda cr-v. and chevy malibu has better mileage than accord. however, honda does make something that we just can't compete with. it's self propelled. chevy. compare us to anyone and may the best car win. the sparkly flakes. the honey-baked bunches!
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welcome back, everyone. i'm lynn barry live in new york. >> i'm david shuster live in washington. sources tell nbc news the guards in the private security blackwater took part in secret cia raids in iraq and afghanistan. something that went beyond their contract with the spy agency. u.s. and blackwater sources tell nbc news that while the guards were hired to protect cia operatives in the "heat of battle" they may have actually participated in the mission itself.
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"the new york times" reported today the blackwater guards played central roles in snatch-and-grab operations. a spokesman for xe services, formerly blackwater says, "blackwater usa was never under contract to participate in covert raids with cia or special operations personnel in iraq, afghanistan or anywhere else." nbc's jim joins us live from the pentagon. as you documented many times, blackwater has a checkered record. this doesn't seem to be helping them. >> just the name blackwater is a lightning rod here in washington. and if you listen closely to that denial from the company spokesman, they deny that they were ever under contract. they don't actually deny that blackwater operatives actually took part in any kind of cia -- covert cia operations. sources on both sides acknowledge that blackwater was in fact hired to provide
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security for cia operatives in iraq and afghanistan. in some cases maybe even logistics, air lift, and in other cases many even intelligence. but apparently what had happened, according to sources, is that as you said, in the heat of the battle, after all, those blackwater operatives and guards are former delta force, former navy s.e.a.l.s special operations forces, and if they see action going down in which they could help the cia, or other special operations forces, the natural tendency is to do that. and apparently that is what had happened. now, there's no indication or evidence that we have found anyway that the blackwater guards were actually trigger pullers, or actually shoth and wounded or killed any insurgents, terror suspects or the like. but the fact of the matter is, that they were involved at all raises some serious questions, particularly about
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accountability when it comes to civilian forces working hand in glove in kinetic operations with the cia and special operations, david. >> jim, what's been the fallout, both to the pentagon, but also on capitol hill? >> reporter: well, you know, so far, capitol hill already knows about this. you remember leon pi net ta suspended some of those "assassination operations" which never really got off the ground. and some of that bleeds over into this blackwater business. when the cia director, pretty new actually, when he found out about this operation, he immediately went to congress, informed congress of the operation, said it had been suspended, and they're launching an internal investigation still at the cia, and congress is looking into it. but so far, we have no word that anyone has been given any kind of disciplinary or judicial punishment because of what happened here. >> nbc's military correspondent
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at the pentagon. jim, thanks for the report. >> okay, david. in the bigger picture, blackwater's role in the cia operations hides a deeper relationship between the two than government officials have acknowledged. what are the consequences of this kind of relationship? with me now, retired colonel jack jacobs on the phone with us. jack, these guys follow different rules of engagement. they follow a different chain of command. what are the implications here if these reports are true? >> well, they're all bad, actually. anybody who studies military operations of any kind will point to the nine principles of war, which govern how one acts on the battlefield and successfully, and they include things like unity of command. never permit people to respond to report to more than one person. somebody's got to be responsible. and another watch word, in the use of a military instrument of power, is to make sure that with
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every bit of responsibility goes authority and vice versa. never give somebody the authority to do something unless it's specific about what his responsibility is going to be and what authority he responds to. authority and responsibility go hand in hand. and you cannot separate them. >> listen, if these guys are after the bad guy, is that such a bad thing? >> it isn't a bad thing to kill or capture bad guys. the problem arises when you mix civilian and military people. you have them reporting through separate chains of command. and some people, civilians, do not have any responsibility for their -- for any of their actions. this is wholly, almost wholly, but a result of the fact that we did not have sufficient numbers of people, military police in particular, security people of any kind in iraq. and as a result, we had to rely on contractors to be paid to
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perform those missions, which in normal circumstances in war would be conducted by soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, all of whom are responsible for their actions under the uniform code of military justice. the instant you hand over responsibility for doing things to people who are not subject to any kind of legal constraints, you run into big-time trouble. and we saw that here. >> we do have a comment from cia spokesman george little. he said this agency, like many others, uses contractors in roles that complement and enhance the skills of the work force, just as the american law permits. is that a fair argument? >> it is, if you're not in a combat situation. and i think he would be talking about circumstances in which we're in low threat areas, and it's unlikely that any of these people are going to be engaged in any kind of combat action. the instant you throw these people into combat situations, you expect soldiers and marines to react, if you throw civilians
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into the mix who have the authority to do whatever they want without the responsibility that goes along with it, you're going to have big-time problems. we've seen that before. and my guess is, the result of this, and other activities that have happened with these and other contractors, have convinced the cia to stop doing it. >> jack, do we know what role blackwater plays now? if there's no role, had there been private contractors to replace them, should we be concerned about the same issue? >> i think they're all private contractors. there are a lot of private contractors under contract with the government and a wide variety of security applications. blackwater i believe has lost its contract to provide security for most, if not all of the state department. but i think what will happen is the following. that congress will investigate it, and determine exactly what contracts blackwater and other security organizations have with the defense department in particular and scrutinize them closely. most of them were innocuous.
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it's vitally important to have these people doing a security nature. but throw them in the middle of a mix of circumstances where they could get into big-time trouble and not responsible is bad news. >> colonel jack jacobs, thank you very much for your expertise. the face-off on the economy. >> new rules today for executives at bailed-out companies. as congress moves toward the most sweeping financial law in decades. why not a single republican supported it. so many arthritis pain relievers --
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today's face-off, the obama administration has put new limits on executive pay at companies that received the largest taxpayer bailouts. >> david, white house announced new salary caps for mid-level executives at four companies. under these limits, cash compensation for 2009 cannot exceed $500,000. these are new rules that apply to a total of about 450 mid-level executives at insurance giant aig, citigroup, general motors and gmac, those folks who took in some t.a.r.p. money. feinberg cut the pay of the top 25 executives at those companies and others, so are these rules fair? and will it make a difference in how they're going to operate as they go forward? here to face off on that, democratic strategist, chris, and republican strategist danny diaz. chris, i'm going to start with you. obviously this is a point of contention for a lot of folks. if these people were failing and
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got t.a.r.p. money, why should they be able to get a big payout? but is this satisfying that base that was upset? >> well, i think it's satisfying the base which is basically the entire american population. they basically collected taxpayer funded bailouts, and i guess some of them may be whining about getting paid $500,000, considering how many americans are unemployed right now, i imagine they would do anything for a $500,000 job. so the notion that somehow this is wrong, or unwarranted, i just don't understand. these are companies that took taxpayer money in order to survive. i think it's just a fair tradeoff. >> danny, do you agree that most of america is satisfied by this? >> well, i think, you know, it's important to note that republicans are for smart regulation. there are indications that this bill would increase interest rates and result in further job loss. i think that's why, you know, republicans -- >> whoa, danny, we're not talking about the bill yet. we're just talking with ken feinberg and the executive limit on the pay.
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to limit executive pay to $500,000 yes or no? >> i think republicans are for the markets working themselves and for at the end of the day, this bill limiting the t.a.r.p. money and stopping it, moving it to deficit reduction. that's why they put forward that alternative that was unfortunately voted down. >> so that would be no? >> against millions and millions, that's the market of giving millions and millions? don't you think the market has been manipulated by some of these boards? >> i think republicans are for common sense regulations. i think we need to step back and realize that people that put forward this bill in many ways they were responsible for where we find ourselves. because they were the same people regulating the housing industry and some of these other industries. >> regardless of that, how is this not common sense? if the american people are funding the bailouts, keeping these companies alive, how is it an executive getting paid $500,000 is somehow egregious? >> it's not going to be on food stamps for getting paid half a million dollars. >> how is it not common sense to
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stop the t.a.r.p. money as republicans tried to put forward and redirect that to the deficit when we're raising the debt ceiling when we have unprecedented deficits as far as the eye can see. so i think that republicans are looking forward for intelligent alternatives. at the end of the day here, the concern is jobs. that's what we're focused on. there are indications that this bill will increase interest rates, will cause further job loss. so republicans voted against it. i think rightfully so. >> not a single republican supported it. here's the bottom line. there are two different things they talked about, as far as the deficit, yes, of the t.a.r.p. money there is about $140 billion, the obama administration is going to put toward the deficit. there's some money going towards small business tax cuts, which the republicans wanted it. do the republicans feel there should be no change, no change in the greed, no change in the casino-like atmosphere that fueled the financial crisis a year ago with these wall street
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institutions? >> no, i don't think that's fair. i think republicans are for curtailing the greed, the abuse, the waste that we have seen. >> how? >> why didn't they vote for it then? >> common-sense alternatives. at the end of the day, this bill is bigger than that. the i'm trying to speak to those issues, like interest rates that will cause job loss, and continuing t.a.r.p. money not going toward the deficit. >> that is not correct. one of the things the bill will do will establish a consumer protection agency. which is exactly what this country needs to protect the very homeowners that were basically exploited through these predatory loans. let alone it sets in legislation to make sure that we have institutions that are regulated, unlike the previous administration, did not regulate, to make sure that we do not have basically another financial crisis. the republican strategy with respect to the economy is basically put their head in the sand and pretend there's not going to be any chance that there's going to be another financial crisis. it is foolish. >> listen, chris --
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>> foolish is not to redirect money toward a deficit. the american people are screaming -- >> danny, i love -- >> and the deficit that continues to grow day by day so that my children and my children's children will be saddled with the debt that this administration is placing upon them, chris. >> i tell you, this is the part that really gets under my skin. the notion that somehow republicans are going to sit there and wax poetic about deficits, when you blew through a multitrillion dollar surplus, that you handed president obama a $1.3 trillion deficit. don't sit there and actually lecture democrats about deficit spending. it was deficit spending that helped turn this economy around for potentially a depression. that is really hypocritical on your part. >> what i find interesting is, while we're talking about deficits and spending in the economy, chris, and democrats continue to look past, or look to the past, we're talking about today. we're talking about the future. >> the reason we're looking at the past because you guys caused the problem. >> both houses of congress and
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the white house, they continue to spend us into oblivion. and a perfect illustration of that is a $2 trillion health care plan that's over 2,000 pages that we can't possibly pay for. >> can you name one thing he did wrong financial or economically? one? >> you know what, i think that's a silly debate. >> why? >> we are talking about 2009. going into 2010. deal with it, barack obama is president and he's growing the deficit. >> in 2009 has absolutely nothing to do in the last eight years? the problems we have right now in 2009, absolutely unrelated with anything that happened in the last eight years, is that your view? >> dave, why don't you ask you a question, are voters going to vote on the last eight years when they go in the ballot box in 2010? they're not. >> voters are going to vote for an administration that actually tackles the problem, doing the responsible thing. that's what the voters are going to vote for. >> the reason the generic ballot
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is cutting against democrats is they're wildly spending money. whether you believe that, it's the truth. it's demonstrated -- >> i sort of wonder if republicans are rooting for the economy to fail, danny. in any case, danny and diaz, you guys, thank you both for coming on. we appreciate it. david, coming up next, we'll tell you things we thought you should know. a theatrical reading of going rogue and another piece of fakery from the white house party crashers. "hardball" with chris matthews, former dnc chairman howard dean on whether democrats can reach 60 votes in the u.s. senate on health care. "hardball" starts in about eight minutes. so heading to the doctor uh... yeah? you gonna ask him this time? about what? our erectile dysfunction. don't want to talk about it. look, you're not alone,
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welcome back, everyone. lots going on today. here's some things we thought you should know. >> a theater group in washington, d.c. says it plans to celebrate sarah palin's book tour with actors reading the book at a local restaurant here in d.c. over the weekend. renaming the book "going rogue, sarah palin an american nightmare." the $10 donation at the door will be used to support planned parenthood. next up, the white house party crasher was ordered by a virginia judge to pay a landscaping debt. instead of cash, salahi had to surrender his watch, which according to the associated press, is not a fancy watch, instead a fake luxury timepiece. salahi's lawyer claims the watch was worth more than $2,000.
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but a local jewelry store put it around $100. a check for two grand was delivered to the landscaper on monday. politico reports that montana senator max baucus gave girlfriend melody haines a $14,000 raise last year. foreign policy is not her specialty, baucus took haines on trips to the southeast asia and middle east, all on the taxpayer's dime. baucus has dismissed calls for an ethics investigation over his nominating haines for the u.s. attorney post in montana. she has since withdrawn her nomination. those are just a few things we thought everybody should know. also, president obama is back from norway. he's wasting no time turning his focus back to the u.s. economy and jobs. >> let's get right to our next read on politics with the stories we'll be watching heading into next week. mark murray for nbc news. mark, what do you have for us? >> hey, david and lynn, happy friday to you guys. the economy will be the chief
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topic this weekend, and also next week. on monday, president obama will be meeting with executives from the top banks around the country. all in the effort to encourage them to issue more loans. the economy also will be the big topic on sunday's "meet the press." david gregory will be interviewing christina romer. finally this weekend, politics gets into the holiday season. on saturday, the national -- the arlington national cemetery sees a wreath-laying ceremony. and on sunday, white house chief of staff rahm emanuel lights the national menorah. >> mark, as far as the president, he's back now from his trip to oslo for the nobel peace prize. reaction in terms of the second day coverage of the story, was it the way the white house had wanted? >> david, it was probably as good as the white house could have wanted. of course, this was a tricky situation for them. when the nobel prize was first announced, president obama got criticized. people said he didn't deserve
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it. he goes away to norway at a time where people are focused on 10% unemployment in this country. and gives a pretty good speech. he's able to get back to being gone for two days. you can get back to the economy as we were just talking about. so overall, good reviews on the speech. and not a whole lot of criticism while he was away. it could have been much, much worse. >> real quickly, mark, how long until we see the cbo come back with their score of the health care bill that the senate's looking at? >> that's the $64,000 question. we've been waiting for cbo scores it seems like this entire year. one more time, and of course, when the senate and the house reconcile their pieces of legislation, we'll be looking at the cbo again. perhaps the most player in this health care debate. >> mark, thanks as always. make sure to check out firstread every morning. logon to that does it for "the big picture" today. i'm lynn barry.


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